It has been exactly a year since I’ve been diagnosed with HIV. I still vividly remember that day. I was working and got a call from the place I got tested for HIV. The lady on the phone said that she got results for my STD tests and that I should come in to her office. I thought that I might have gotten some minor STD that I could treat with antibiotics. HIV was the last thing on my mind because I always practiced safe sex.
As soon as I got off the call, I made up some excuse to my boss and got out of the office to get my test results. I hopped on a cab because I wanted to know right away.
I arrived at the hospital and checked in. I waited for about 30 minutes and the lady who spoke to me over the phone called out my name. I followed her into her tiny office. She sat down and pulled out some documents.
"Your HIV viral load test came out as positive," she said.
My mind and vision went black for about a minute. It felt like the longest minute of my life.
"But my rapid test came out negative…" I said.
"It’s most likely that you have been recently infected and that’s why the rapid test could not detect HIV," she said.
"Okay. What do I do now? Tell me everything I need to know," I said. After the longest minute of my life, I calmed myself down. Then I made the quickest and most important decision to fully prepare for a new life that I had no choice but to accept.
And just like that, a year has passed. I’m not sure a 1 year HIV diagnosis anniversary is something to celebrate about. But, I’m definitely thankful for the fact that I am still healthy. And I plan on trying my best to stay this way and to live every moment of my life to the fullest.